The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) directing anticoagulation safety in the United States

Robert C. Gosselin, Aaron J. Roberts, William E. Dager


Implemented in 2003, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO, later known as just Joint Commission) implemented required initiatives for accredited institutions that provide health care services for improving patient safety. The first six National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) required these institutions to address and improved the identified short comings associated with patient misidentification, communications between caregivers, use of high-alert medications and drug infusion devices, reduction of surgical errors, and clinical alerts. In 2005, JCAHO implemented a new NPSG, labeled as Goal #3c, designed to improve safety of medication use, and in 2008 specifically addressing anticoagulants. The purpose of this review is to describe the laboratory and pharmacy department roles addressing the current eight required NPSG elements related to anticoagulation safety.